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April Madness April 5, 2010

Posted by markgeil in Still the best sport to watch on TV.
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Well after all, it’s not really March, is it.

I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and was raised on ACC basketball. I was barely a toddler when North Carolina State won the national championship in 1974, but old enough to remember every vivid emotion when they did it again in 1983. Then I went to State for four years, cheering mightily for teams that were not quite as good.

Consequently, I’m a bit of a torn fan tonight. On the one hand, I feel a bit obligated to cheer for Duke because of the whole “ACC conference loyalty” thing. On the other hand, I hate Duke. I mean, they’re Duke. On the one hand, Butler is such a compelling underdog that it’s hard not to cheer for them. (See Pat Forde’s excellent article for some pre-game context.) On the other hand, a Butler win in any dramatic fashion would force my 1983 Wolfpack to share their spotlight a little bit more, so I should cheer for Dook.

I’m running out of hands.

I’m guessing I’m going to pop in my Hoosiers DVD for a psych-up and then cheer for the little Bulldogs that could. If they win, it’s a triumph for the little guy, and a chance to see smoke come of out Coach K’s ears and nostrils. If they lose, it’s another triumph for the ACC, and State gets to keep its fair share of the highlight footage. Either way, I win.



1. D.S. - April 6, 2010

I thought so too. I went in telling myself I didn’t care, either way I’d be happy for those same reasons, ACC loyalty and all that. I was prepared for a blowout, but as the game went along and no blowout materialized, I found myself screaming at the tv and holding my breath with every shot. If this was David vs. Goliath I had lost my objective detachment in case Goliath won. When that last shot went up I couldn’t have been more invested if Michael Jordan had shot it and Butler were wearing a lighter shade of blue.

2. markgeil - April 7, 2010

I’m still reeling a little bit. Sports are made for endings like that one. It was almost as Sweet Baby Gordon’s miss on the fallaway just before, which would have been a remarkable go-ahead shot, just served to set up that shot-for-the-ages, that highlight to beat all highlights. Forde wrote: “As the ball descended with stunning accuracy, it looked like it might go glass-net-floor.

“And then it missed. Glass-rim-floor. No soft, fairy-tale landing in the nylon.

“Reality wins. Duke wins, 61-59.”

How can reality win? Everything was set up just right. What am I supposed to do now?

Thank goodness none of this matters, you know, in the grand scheme of things.

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